Albuquerque International Sunport (IATA: ABQ, FAA LID: ABQ, ICAO: KABQ) is the public international airport located in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, among the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande river, at the east-side of old town Albuquerque and Barelas, about 3 miles (5 km) south of the University of New Mexico, south-east of downtown Albuquerque, and to the west of Kirtland Air Force Base and Sandia National Laboratories.
The ABQ Sunport is owned by the City of Albuquerque, NM, USA, and is run via Albuquerque Aviation Department. It serves the U.S. State of New Mexico, the Albuquerque metropolitan area, and the Albuquerque–Santa Fe–Las Vegas CSA, where the ABQ handled around 5,467,693 passengers according to the passenger traffic in 2018.
The ABQ is the hub for Cargo Airlines, such as Ameriflight. Cargo airlines that operate in the Sunport are FedEx Express, Empire Airlines, Ameriflight, UPS Airlines, and South Aero.
The Capacity of ABQ
The Sunport is a focus airport for Southwest Airlines. The domestic, commercial routes are served by Advanced Air, Allegiant Air, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Boutique Air, United Airlines, and JetBlue. In 2019, total week-day departures averaged around 85 flights each day. However, in 1995 and 2001, the Sunport reached its peak with 163 daily flights during December.
Briefly on the History of the Sunport
The first two private airports that served Albuquerque were Oxnard Field (opened in 1928), and West Mesa Airport (known as the TWA, opened in 1930). The first airlines that served the airports in Albuquerque were Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT), Mid Continent Air, and Western Air Express (WAE). At first, the airlines were operated from Oxnard Field (also known as Albuquerque Airport), but later it was moved to the West Mesa Airport in the 1930s. In April 1957, the Official Airline Guide showed around 31 week-day departures, in which 13 were on Continental Airlines, 12 on TWA airlines, and six on Frontier Airlines.
The major regional airlines serving the Sunport are SkyWest, Republic, ExpressJet, TransStates, Compass, Envoy, GoJet, and Horizon Air. Some of the regular public charter flights are also operating in the Sunport to Laughlin and Wendover, Nevada. Those regular airlines are Sun Country Airlines, Swift Air, Xtra Airways, and Elite Airways.
Business Activity and Future Developments
The Airport Master Plan was drafted in 2002, which lays out long-term projects at the ABQ. The projects include the removal of Runway 17/35, as well as the construction of a 2nd terminal. The runway recommendation closure in Summer 2012, was based on noise reduction, safety, and the cost of upkeep.